More than 90% of Chinese tourists willing to use mobile payment methods while travelling overseas: Survey

Mobile payment overseas has been exceedingly popular with Chinese tourists and its future looks to be optimistic.
The Business Times
  • 93% of Chinese tourists would consider using mobile payment overseas and 91% are eager to buy more if merchants are open to accepting the mode of payment.
  • 65% of Chinese travellers use mobile payments on their trips abroad, more than 6 times that of of non-Chinese travellers.
  • Chinese tourists spent an average of of S$1,010 ($762) per person on shopping alone based on their most recent trip, while non-Chinese travellers spent an average of S$645.

The popularity of mobile payment is on the rise among Chinese tourists and this could mean big business especially since this group has shown to have a stronger purchasing power than other nationalities, a recent survey has found.

According to the Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trends: 2017 Survey, Chinese tourists would consider using mobile payment overseas (93%) and are eager to buy more (91%) if foreign merchants are open to the mode of transaction.

The report was jointly released by global marketing research firm Nielson Corporation and Chinese mobile payment platform Alipay on Wednesday (Feb 28)

It involved a study of present-day consumption and payment behaviour of Chinese tourists overseas as well as an assessment of future trends.

A total of 2,009 Chinese respondents as well as 613 non-Chinese respondents who have travelled overseas in the past year and plan to travel within the next year were surveyed.

Respondents were aged between 20 to 50.

Examination of the usage of mobile payment platforms abroad was a key focus of the study.

The popularity of mobile payment revealed to be on the rise, particularly among the Chinese demographic.

Some 65% of Chinese travellers use mobile payment platforms on their trips abroad, which is more than six times the proportion of non-Chinese tourists (11%).

Furthermore, in contrast to the previous two years, mobile payment overseas has seen greater increase in usage in comparison to other payment methods for the Chinese.

The proliferating usage may be spurred with the expected increase in average number of countries or regions visited by the Chinese – from 2.1 between 2016 to 2017 to 2.8 in 2018.

Statistics from the China National Tourism Administration also showed that 131 million trips were made in 2017, a 7% increase from 2016.

Convenience and habit of use as well as discounts gained were counted as key factors in encouraging the use of mobile payment platforms overseas.

Chinese tourists also exhibit stronger purchasing power compared to non-Chinese travellers with the former spending an average of S$1,010 ($762) per person on shopping alone based on their most recent trip.

Non-Chinese tourists spent an average of S$645.

Currently, the top three consumption categories in which Chinese tourists most often pay via mobile means are shopping (63%), dining (62%) and tourist attractions (58%).

With Chinese tourists prioritising the uniqueness and safety of their destination as well as ease of visa procedures and friendliness of locals over travel costs, it’s unlikely that mobile payment will show any sign of slowing down.